Children of Gay Parents

Monday, July 01, 2013

Alysia Abbott, author of the new book Fairyland: A Memoir of My Fathertalks about her new memoir and growing up with a gay single father in the context of the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the gay rights movement. Listeners: Any kids of a gay parents, call us up and talk about how you reacted to last week's Supreme Court rulings--and tell us what it's been like growing up with gay parents. 212-433-9692 or comment here.


Alysia Abbott

Comments [21]

Amy from Manhattan

Oh, no--that anti-gay marriage congressman just made me realize: *100%* of lesbian marriages w/children are fatherless households!!

Jul. 02 2013 01:35 AM
ALYSIA ABBOTT from Dwell-ville

The things I wished I'd said on the Brian Lehrer Show today:

* In 1992, AIDS was the leading cause of death for men aged 18-45. What we forget (or never considered) is that a lot of those men were also fathers.

* I'm sorry sir, I can't give advice on how you should come out to your adult children. I'm really not qualified to do this. All I can do is wish you strength and patience with your family and with yourself.

* I believe that happy and loving parents make good parents, regardless of whether they are gay or straight. Love is love. I can't say that closeted parents are bad parents but, in my limited experience, when someone is closeted they are usually unhappy and may be distant with their kids.

* I'm reading on July 10th with Edmund White, one of America's most talented and prolific writers on the gay experience. I am so excited!

* Thank you Brian, it's been wonderful to be with you on this side of the microphone.

Jul. 01 2013 11:10 PM

btw- i'd never assume, that having a gay dad in a homophobic world is a piece of cake,either. a child needs love and attention. all things being more or less equal;give me a kind gay dad, over a nasty straight one.

Jul. 01 2013 11:50 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

To G8 from NY - I agree - I think that last comment undermined the whole segment.

Jul. 01 2013 11:40 AM
G8 from NY

Whether a person who is struggling with their identity has nothing to do with whether they will be able to be attentive to their children. Many people have gone their whole lives with that struggle and have never strayed from their dedication to their children. Shame on you for saying it and shame on you for accepting it as a truth!

Jul. 01 2013 11:36 AM

If they are worried about kids who don't have two loving parents, maybe they should find a way to get men to take responsibilty after they pressure their women to have sex then walk away after pregnancy occurs.

Jul. 01 2013 11:33 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

This is very moving, and I agree with almost everything, except that last comment - "a closeted parent is going to be very distant from their children" - a sweeping generalization and very unfair, I think.

Jul. 01 2013 11:32 AM
fuva from harlemworld

That congressman was absolutely nonresponsive.

Jul. 01 2013 11:30 AM
Rich P from Long Island

Caller Brian's story broke my heart. I hope all ends well with him and his family.

Jul. 01 2013 11:30 AM
fuva from harlemworld

For the sake of David, etc. I think a segment about the "slippery slope to polygamy" would be a great segment. Actually, we'd all benefit.

Jul. 01 2013 11:29 AM
John A

David from Fredericksburg, VA,
There is always truth, except sometimes there are multiple competing truths, as there is now. I guess that's what Ideologies are. Absolute truth is what is frequently in question it seems.

Jul. 01 2013 11:29 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

That's right - it's all about your fulfillment - screw your family!

Jul. 01 2013 11:28 AM
Catherine from Washington Heights

Hi Brian - Yes there's a support group for children of gay and lesbian people - it's called Unitarian Universalism :-)

Jul. 01 2013 11:27 AM
Percy from nyc

i went to pride this year and was let down by the amount of corporate presence and pandering by politicians and took a good hour for these people to pass and allow the "every day" marchers to show up.
Really let down by the amount of jeans and t-shirt marchers - why march if you're not going to make an effort?

I agree with Lance from manhattan - marriage and kids and buying a house...1%

Jul. 01 2013 11:24 AM
Joshua Gunn from Cambridge, MA

I am the child of gay parents in the South -- Atlanta, actually. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, before it was hip and cool to have gay parents, especially in the South. I think there is an emerging group of people who grew up in gay families from this time period who were on the vanguard in some ways, who dealt with an extremely different culture than what we have today, thankfully.

I wonder if Ms. Abbott could speak to the challenges we faced as children in a very different time. I know that this experience made me who I am today. I'm wondering how Ms. Abbott's experience helped forge her identity.

Disclaimer, I am a friend of Ms. Abbott's from Cambridge.

Call me at 617-840-0535 if you wish to discuss.

Jul. 01 2013 11:14 AM
Lance from Manhattan

You'd think by all the coverage that most of the country was not only gay, but wanted to be married, and then on top of that wanted to have kids... How much of the population actually fits into this category 0.01%? Why is this a topic that needs so much coverage on all outlets? I hate these divide and conquer political issues. All they accomplish is taking the heat off the large number of pressing issues that affect all of us in this country. I'm not saying don't give it coverage, but wow...

Jul. 01 2013 11:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Children will be produced in factories soon enough,so it will all be academic in a century or less. Probably the healthiest thing will be when there will be no fathers or mothers at all, and everyone will totally live by and for themselves, ala Brave New World, where nobody "owns" or "belongs" to anybody, or has any obligations to anyone else, one way or the other. There have been people raised from birth in orphanages who bore no psychological scars whatsoever, so there is no evidence that there is any intrinsic need for "family." It is purely a cultural artifact of decreasing relevance in the world to come.

Jul. 01 2013 11:12 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

So, really, what's to stop polygamy now? Everything relative, there's no Truth - on what legal (since moral is long dead) basis will polygamy be barred?

Jul. 01 2013 11:10 AM
Robert from NYC

Yeah no disrespect or offense but does it have to be her again? She's been on just about every other show on here and elsewhere, we've all memorized her life. How about others!

Jul. 01 2013 11:08 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Please ask Alicia if she feels she suffered at all the lack of a direct adult female connection?

Jul. 01 2013 11:03 AM

I can reverse engineer this topic and tell you, that I had a horrific relationship with my father,who was straight. a few times, I've told people of latino backgrounds,as he was;that, i'd have not have cared at all if my father were gay. if he were remotely human to me me,that would have been gold for my childhood. it's amazing,though not really if you think about it,how many people are simply freaked out by my saying that.

Jul. 01 2013 10:34 AM

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